Prep Baseball Report

James Madison Advances to Liberty Semifinals

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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Vienna-The Liberty Conference played both of its semifinal games in a doubleheader at James Madison High School Wednesday evening. In the first game of the day, top seeded No. 5 James Madison hosted fifth-seeded South Lakes. Coming off of a bye, Madison started senior lefty Matt Favero (BYU). The Seahawks went with senior Brian Lawson (Hamilton).

South Lakes came out fast in the first as shortstop Marty Gryski singled to right and eventually stole second base. He scored on junior first basemen Noah Luckenbaugh’s two-out single to left, giving the Seahawks an early 1-0 lead.

Madison wasted no time responding, as senior shortstop Pete Nielsen (BYU) and sophomore second basemen Kyle Novak each singled to center on the first pitches that they saw. Carlo Alfano dropped a perfect bunt for another single and the Warhawks had loaded the bases on three pitches. Senior first baseman Jimmy Goldsmith singled to right-center, driving in two and giving Madison the lead. Little brother Joey Goldsmith singled to left, driving in Alfano and chasing Lawson out of the game. South Lakes turned to sophomore Josh Taylor, who was able to end the threat with no more damage and the Warhawks leading 3-1 after one inning.

The second went relatively quietly for both sides. South Lakes got things going in the third with a leadoff walk and then Gryski’s second base hit of the game, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Favero was able to catch Gryski stealing for the first out, and then get a strikeout and pop out to end the threat without any damage. Taylor worked a perfect bottom of the third. For velocities and scouting information on Favero and Taylor, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog later this week.

Favero put up a zero in the top of the fourth, working around a one out single. Madison would extend its lead in the bottom of the inning. Favero started things off with a single to left. His courtesy runner was bunted down to second and Brian Harthun singled to second base, putting runners on the corners with one out. Senior catcher Kyle Hayes (James Madison) executed a perfect safety squeeze, scoring one and moving Harthun to second. Nielsen picked up his second base hit of the game, driving in Harthun and making the score 5-1 Madison after four.

South Lakes tried to rally in the bottom of the fifth, putting runners on first and second with no outs for the top of the order. Favero again was able to bear down, striking out three of the next four hitters to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

Madison would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases with no outs after a hit batsmen, walk, and bunt single. Favero picked up the first run with a sacrifice fly. Jordan Ebersole (VMI) drove in a second run with a grounder up the middle. Hayes picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to right center.

Favero’s night would end after five innings as the Warhawks turned to junior Ryan Kopka for the last two innings of the game. The Warhawks would add five more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, making the final score Madison 13, South Lakes 1.

Madison advances to Friday night’s Liberty Conference 6 championship game against McLean. South Lakes is locked into the fourth spot from the Liberty Conference in next week’s 6A North Regional Tournament, and will travel Wednesday night to Haymarket to take on No. 8 Battlefield in the first round.

For Madison, Favero earned the win going 5 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 3 BB, 8 K and also going 1-2 with a run and an RBI at the plate. Nielsen went 2-4 with a run and an RBI. Alfano went 2-3 with a HBP and 3 R. Jimmy Goldsmith was 2-3 with a BB, SB, and 3 RBI. Joey Goldsmith was 2-3 with 2 R, a BB, and an RBI. Hayes was 1-2 with 2 RBI.

For South Lakes, Lawson took the loss, throwing 0 IP, 3 R, 5 H. Gryski was 2-4 with a SB and a run. Luckenbaugh ended the night 1-4 with an RBI. Senior centerfielder Thomas Mallaney went 0-1 with 2 BB and a SB.


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